Book of Mormon Commentary - 3 Nephi 19

by Don R. Hender

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
             CHAPTER 19

The Twelve Disciples minister unto the people and pray for the Holy Ghost—They are baptized and receive the Holy Ghost and the ministering of angels—Jesus prays using words that cannot be written—He attests to the exceedingly great faith of these Nephites. [A.D. 34]

1 AND now it came to pass that when Jesus had ascended into heaven, the multitude did disperse, and every man did take his wife and his children and did return to his own home.
2 And it was noised abroad among the people immediately, before it was yet dark, that the multitude had seen Jesus, and that he had ministered unto them, and that he would also show himself on the amorrow unto the multitude.
3 Yea, and even all the night it was noised abroad concerning Jesus; and insomuch did they send forth unto the people that there were many, yea, an exceedingly great number, did labor exceedingly all that night, that they might be on the morrow in the place where Jesus should show himself unto the multitude.

 2a 3 Ne. 17:3

4 And it came to pass that on the morrow, when the multitude was gathered together, behold, Nephi and his abrother whom he had raised from the bdead, whose name was Timothy, and also his son, whose name was Jonas, and also Mathoni, and Mathonihah, his brother, and Kumen, and Kumenonhi, and Jeremiah, and Shemnon, and Jonas, and Zedekiah, and Isaiah—now these were the cnames of the ddisciples whom Jesus had chosen—and it came to pass that they went forth and stood in the midst of the multitude.
5 And behold, the multitude was aso great that they did cause that they should be separated into twelve bodiesa.

 5a the multitude was so great that they did cause that they should be separated into twelve bodies Now when King Benjamin did address the people it had been proclaimed throughout all of the land. And when the people came they did all face the temple and the king was on a high tower, but not all could hear. And when the people of Limhi and Alma did return, the people again were assembled and had to be divided into two groups. Now at this time, this in not all the people as was the nature of the previous meetings. It was only they who could make it in a single night's journey to the temple at Bountiful and it was only among those who had survived the destruction; yet so great was the multitude that it was divided into twelve groups. And of course the 12 disciples did minister unto each of the twelve groups that which Jesus did instruct them to do.  4a 3 Ne. 7:19
   b TG Death, Power over
   c 3 Ne. 28:25
   d 3 Ne. 18:36-37; 3 Ne. 26:17
 5a Mosiah 2:7

6 And the twelve did teach the multitude; and behold, they did cause that the multitude should akneel down upon the face of the earth, and should pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus.
7 And the disciples did pray unto the Father also in the name of Jesus. And it came to pass that they arose and ministered unto the people.
8 And when they had ministered those same words which Jesus had spoken—nothing varying from the words which Jesus had spoken—behold, they knelt again and prayed to the Father in the name of Jesus.

 6a 3 Ne. 17:13

9 And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the aHoly Ghost should be given unto them.
10 And when they had thus prayed they went down unto the water's edge, and the multitude followed them.

 9a 3 Ne. 9:20

11 And it came to pass that Nephi went down ainto the water and was bbaptized.
12 And he came up out of the water and began to baptize. And he baptized all those whom Jesus had chosen.

 11a 3 Ne. 11:23
     b Matt. 3:14 (13-15); JS-H 1:71 (70-71)

13 And it came to pass when they were all baptized and had come aup out of the water, the bHoly Ghost did fall upon them, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost and with fire.
14 And behold, they were aencircled about as if it were by fire; and it came down from heaven, and the multitude did witness it, and did bear record; and angels did come down out of heaven and did minister unto them.
15 And it came to pass that while the angels were ministering unto the disciples, behold, Jesus came and stood in the midst and ministered unto them.

 13a TG Baptism, Immersion
     b 3 Ne. 12:2; Morm. 7:10;
       TG Holy Ghost, Baptism of
 14a Hel. 5:43 (23-24, 43-45); 3 Ne. 17:24

16 And it came to pass that he spake unto the multitude, and commanded them that they should kneel down again upon the earth, and also that his disciples should kneel down upon the earth.
17 And it came to pass that when they had all knelt down upon the earth, he commanded his disciples that they should pray.
18 And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God.

19 And it came to pass that Jesus departed out of the midst of them, and went a little way off from them and abowed himself to the earth, and he said:
20 Father, I thank thee that thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have achosen; and it is because of their belief in me that I have chosen them out of the world.
21 Father, I pray thee that thou wilt give the Holy Ghost unto all them that shall believe in their words.

 19a 3 Ne. 17:15
 20a TG Church Organization

22 Father, thou hast given them the Holy Ghost because they believe in ame; and thou seest that they believe in me because thou hearest them, and they pray unto me; and they pray unto me because I am with thema.
23 And now Father, I apray unto thee for them, and also for all those who shall believe on their words, that they may believe in me, that I may be in them bas thou, Father, art in me, that we may be conea.

 22a they pray unto me beacuse I am with them While this is the current explanation of why the people are praying unto Jesus directly rather than to the Father in the name of Christ, it is also a goodly concept to consider when developing the nature of God and the relationship between Jesus/Jehovah and God the Father of Spirits. For in truth the Father has ever dwelt in that Celestial Heaven, a celestial being of glorified flesh and bone tabernacle fused upon his heavenly spirit for all ages which we his spirit children have known him. And he has remained in 'His Heaven' while it is his 'selected Christ' who has been 'God with and from among us' who has ever dealt with we of the second estate standing in the stead of the Father in all things, returning the glory unto the Father and doing the will of the Father. Christ is the 'God of the Old Testament', Jehovah, and it is he under the direction of the Father who does minister unto us. So he is the one whom we will deal with directly. The Father will introduce the Son, but the Father is NOT a being pertaining to this second estate, having to obtain his body of flesh and bone as we and even Christ Jehovah is. And though Christ Jehovah was and is of the status of God from before the world was. He was but a God impowered and acting and yet not complete as he still had to obtain his body also and pass through the temporal second estate of mortality.
 23a that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one Even as Christ did pray in the land of Jerusalem that they who believed in him there would be one as he and the Father were one, so among the Nephites also did Jesus so pray. And as verse 29 does add, 'that I may be glorified in them'. Now as we become one in Christ and with the Father, then the purpose and intent of God has been fulfilled in the purpose of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man unto exaltation. And therein lies the glory, that Christ is glorified in those who have been so exalted in the kingdom of God.
 22a Acts 7:59
 23a TG Jesus Christ, Relationships with the
     b 3 Ne. 9:15; 3 Ne. 11:27
     c John 17:22 (1-22); 1 Cor. 6:17

24 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto him; and they did not amultiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should bpray, and they were filled with desire.
25 And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him; and his acountenance did smile upon them, and the light of his bcountenance did cshine upon them, and behold they were as dwhite as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof.
26 And Jesus said unto them: Pray on; nevertheless they did not cease to pray.

 24a Matt. 6:7
     b Hel. 10:5; D&C 46:30
 25a Num. 6:25 (23-27)
     b Ps. 4:6
     c Dan. 9:17
     c TG Transfiguration

27 And he turned from them again, and went a little way off and bowed himself to the earth; and he prayed again unto the Father, saying:
28 Father, I thank thee that thou hast apurified those whom I have chosen, because of their faith, and I pray for them, and also for them who shall believe on their words, that they may be purified in me, through faith on their words, even as they are purified in me.
29 Father, I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me aout of the world, because of their faith, that they may be purified in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one, that I may be glorified in them.
30 And when Jesus had spoken these words he came again unto his disciples; and behold they did pray steadfastly, without ceasing, unto him; and he did smile upon them again; and behold they were awhite, even as Jesus.

 28a Neh. 12:30; Moro. 7:48; D&C 50:29 (28-29);
       D&C 88:74-75; TG Purity
 29a John 17:6
 30a Matt. 17:2

31 And it came to pass that he went again a little way off and prayed unto the Father;
32 And tongue cannot speak the words which he prayed, neither can be awritten by man the words which he prayed.
33 And the multitude did hear and do bear record; and their ahearts were open and they did understand in their hearts the words which he prayed.

 32a 3 Ne. 5:18; D&C 76:116
 33a Prov. 2:2; Prov. 8:5; Isa. 44:18;
       Mosiah 2:9; Mosiah 12:27

34 Nevertheless, so great and marvelous were the words which he prayed that they cannot be written, neither can they be auttered by man.
35 And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying he came again to the disciples, and said unto them: aSo great bfaith have I never seen among all the Jewsa; wherefore I could not show unto them so great cmiracles, because of their dunbelief.
36 Verily I say unto you, there are none of them that have seen so great things as ye have seen; neither have they heard so great things as ye have heard.

 35a So great faith have I never seen among all the Jews Now in what respect did Jesus apply the name 'Jews'? Does he mean specifically those who are of the tribe of Judah? Does he mean those who did dwell at Jerusalem and the land their of? Or was it some other generalization. Certainly the Book of Mormon had applied the name Jews to Lehi and those who came out of Jerusalem although they were not of the tribe of Judah; but had been of the Jewish culture and they had dwelt at Jerusalem. But Jesus seems to here make a stipulative difference between those of the Book of Mormon, those who were brought to dwell in the land of Joseph, they being of Joseph, his descendants and those who had remained in Jerusalem who were the Jews of the tribe of Judah. If this be the case, then one must ask, what about the descendants of Mulek who were among the people of the Book of Mormon? They were more numerous than the descendants of Nephi. Were these not Jews even in the sense that they were of the tribe of Judah and had come out of the land of Jerusalem also? Thus again we seem to be led to the conclusion that the house of David was legally and rightfully considered to be of the seed of Ephraim and of Joseph, thus justifying them to be included in the scope of being of Joseph and being brought unto the land of Joseph by the hand of the Lord. And thus included as being one with the rest of the people of the Book of Mormon, apart, separate and distinct from the 'Jews' of the tribe of Judah (See Messiah ben David ~ Messiah ben Joseph). And so it would seem that they who did show the greater faith in Christ were they who were of the house of Joseph, that promised seed whereby the blessings of the fathers were preserved and did remain (D&C 27:10).  34a 2 Cor. 12:4; 3 Ne. 17:17
 35a Matt. 8:10
     b TG Faith
     c John 11:47-48
     d Matt. 13:58; TG Doubt;
       TG Unbelief, Unbelievers

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